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Trumpening Christmas

From the president's Twitter feed

No words. At least no words that I am willing to say in public.

This same crowd of patriotic Christmas defenders chanted “Lock her up!” during the president’s speech.

This is really happening. It is foul.

God will not be mocked. You Christians who support this tawdry defilement of the Nativity, … why?

UPDATE: Let me make it clear why I find this disgusting.

I loathe how Trump weaponizes Christmas in the culture war. Yes, I know that there are cases every year of joyless liberals trying to drive crèches and the like out of the public square. I have no problem at all with Christians fighting that. But Donald Trump — a man who in all his morally squalid life (for example) never had a good or sincere word to say about Jesus Christ — is now positioning himself as a Defender Of The Faith against this “War On Christmas.” Don’t you see what a sham this is? Four days ago, in his Utah speech, the president said:

“Remember I said we’re bringing Christmas back? Christmas is back, bigger and better than ever before. We’re bringing Christmas back.”

Because Americans were deprived of Christmas before Donald Trump was elected president? Because nobody said “Merry Christmas” until Trump arrived on the scene? The man speaks of Christmas as if it were a Trump-branded property (“bigger and better than ever before”).

I hate how every aspect of American life is more and more politicized. The left does this too. Can’t Christmas be left alone? Why do we have to defile that as well? That’s Trump’s doing. Look at that image above: somebody arranged for those rallygoers to have pre-made giant letters to spell out Christmas, and to be standing down front for the sake of that photo. What if they carried a J-E-S-U-S? Would it be clearer then what Trump is doing here? It’s profane.

Finally, this crowd full of Christians who are so grateful that Donald Trump has made it possible once again to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, also chanted demanding the imprisonment of the politician their Cromwell defeated over a year ago, and drove into retirement. Such Christmas spirit, that.

UPDATE.2: I appreciate this reader’s comment:

I think that I might see the problem here. Sacramentalists, the deep, devout ones (as opposed to the “my host please, and let me go on my way”) Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, etc. elevate the feastdays more than some of the rest of us. I say this as an Anglican. However, not all Protestants feel the same way. I would place Rod among the more deep of the devout among us insofar as the church year is so deeply imbedded in his family life and lifestyle. He deserves some space on this regardless of anyone’s view of Trump and his followers.

For those among us who might wonder what I mean by a feastday while being devout yourselves, or rejecting such daily and seasonal demarcation, it might be wise to still contemplate how lowering such credit taking and puffery is to the truemeaningofchristmas thing, despite the cliche such protests have become over the last almost two centuries here in the U. S.

In a possible future world where creches might be banned and, let’s say, the day does not even merit the day off, Christmas can still exist. It will exist if those of us who cherish it now, still take it seriously and observe it well amd properly in what time is available to us under the proverbial regime.

Of course, it is commercialized and has been since before the oldest of us were born. It might be that the powers that be and will be will not countenance such a devastating lack of commerce inflicted on society. Either way, it is up to us who take it seriously to observe Christmas well and celebrate His coming, whether distracted by naysayers, or over commercialization. Merry Christmas.

Yes. The de-Christianization of American culture is really happening, and it’s bringing with it some deleterious and unjust consequences for Christians. The least thing we ought to be worrying about are ACLU Scrooges grinching about “Merry Christmas”. Just do what I do: say “Merry Christmas” and if people want to be angry about it, that’s on them. There are far more serious issues present and on their way, and if President Trump really wanted to protect Christians in particular and religious liberty in general, there are a list of substantive legislative things he could undertake. But he doesn’t care. He’s interested in scoring easy political points. But in so doing, he is trivializing a serious matter, and making it harder for Christians who protest anti-Christian words and actions to get a serious hearing.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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